Upheaval Dome, Utah, USA: Impact Origin Confirmed
Upheaval Dome is a unique circular structure on the Colorado Plateau in SE Utah, the origin of which has been controversially discussed for decades. It has been interpreted as a crypto volcanic feature, a salt diapir, a pinched-off salt diapir, and an eroded impact crater. While recent structural mapping, modeling, and analyses of deformation mechanisms strongly support an impact origin, ultimate proof, namely the documentation of unambiguous shock features, has yet to be successfully provided. In this study, we document, for the first time, shocked quartz grains from this crater in sandstones of the Jurassic Kayenta Formation. The investigated grains contain multiple sets of decorated planar deformation features. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) reveals that the amorphous lamellae are annealed and exhibit dense tangles of dislocations as well as trails of fluid inclusions. The shocked quartz grains were found in the periphery of the central uplift in the northeastern sector of the crater, which most likely represents the cross range crater sector.
Buchner, E., & Kenkmann, T. (2008). Upheaval Dome, Utah, USA: Impact origin confirmed. Geology, 36(3), 227-230. doi:10.1130/g24287a.1